PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles High School basketball player Quanah Wheeler kept up his family tradition last week.
He will be the third Roughrider in his family to move on to play college sports.
Wheeler, a guard on the Riders boys’ team that finished sixth in the state 2A basketball tournament, joined his older sisters Nizhoni and Cheyenne in moving on to college sports. Nizhoni starred in both softball and basketball for Lower Columbia College, while Cheyenne has played basketball for both Lower Columbia and Peninsula colleges. Last week, Quanah signed to play for Olympic College, which is coached by Ryley Callaghan, a former Peninsula College player who went on to play at Hawaii-Hilo.
“For me, this is cool seeing him grow as a person and a player,” said Port Angeles boys coach Kasey Ulin.
Wheeler is joining one of the better teams in the NWAC. Last year, Olympic won the North Region with a 21-8 record and went on to make it to the NWAC Final Four.
“We’re super-excited to have Quanah,” Callaghan said.
“This means a lot to me. This is everything I’ve been working for. I’m excited to make that next step,” Wheeler, the son of Jason and Rachelle Wheeler, said.
Wheeler said seeing his sisters move on to play college sports also helped motivate him.
“Oh, definitely, 100 percent,” he said. “Seeing Nizhoni always motivated me to do the same thing.”
“It just means a lot from where they came from” to move on to college, said Quanah’s mother, Rachelle. “From where they came from, it’s hard to leave home.”
Wheeler played a lot of point guard for the Riders and was part of a ferocious defensive backcourt that gave Port Angeles foes fits all year. Ulin said he could very well see Wheeler get even better at Olympic.
“I think he’s got a very high potential. He’s got elite talent. He’s got length, athleticism. He can run a team, score, defend. There isn’t anything he can’t do. He’s got the skills to play at a higher level,” Ulin said. “He’ll be a great fit [at Olympic]. I’ll continue to watch him.”